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During the 2009 influenza pandemic, a rapid assessment of disease severity was a challenge as a significant proportion of cases did not seek medical care; care-seeking behaviour changed and the proportion asymptomatic was unknown. A random-digit-dialling telephone survey was undertaken during the 2011/12 winter season in England and Wales to address the feasibility of answering these questions. A proportional quota sampling strategy was employed based on gender, age group, geographical location, employment status and level of education. Households were recruited pre-season and re-contacted immediately following peak seasonal influenza activity. The pre-peak survey was undertaken in October 2011 with 1061 individuals recruited and the post-peak telephone survey in March 2012. Eight hundred and thirty-four of the 1061 (78.6%) participants were successfully re-contacted. Their demographic characteristics compared well to national census data. In total, 8.4% of participants self-reported an influenza-like illness (ILI) in the previous 2 weeks, with 3.2% conforming to the World Health Organization (WHO) ILI case definition. In total, 29.6% of the cases reported consulting their general practitioner. 54.1% of the 1061 participants agreed to be re-contacted about providing biological samples. A population-based cohort was successfully recruited and followed up. Longitudinal survey methodology provides a practical tool to assess disease severity during future pandemics.
Introduction: BACKGOUND In the modern era of terrorism and senseless violence, it is essential that hospital staff have expertise in implementation of a mass casualty incident (MCI) plan. OBJECTIVES 1. To assess current gaps in implementation of an academic urban hospital code orange plan using live simulation and tabletop exercise. 2. To identify and educate front-line staff to champion a hospital-wide MCI plan. INNOVATION Historically, in order to limit resource utilization and impact on patient care, disaster response training of front-line staff involved tabletop exercises only. The tenets of experiential learning suggest that learner engagement through realistic active practice of skills achieves deeper uptake of new knowledge. We enhanced the traditional tabletop approach through novel use of live actor patients presenting to an academic, urban emergency department (ED) during a hospital-wide MCI simulation. Methods: To assess the current code orange plan, an interprofessional, committee comprising expert leaders in trauma, emergency preparedness, emergency medicine and simulation integrated tabletop and live simulation to stage a MCI based on a mock incident at a new subway station. ED staff, the trauma team and champions from medicine, surgery and critical care participated along with support departments such as Patient Flow, Patient Transport, Environmental Services and the Hospital Emergency Operations Centre. Ten live actor patients and eight virtual patients presented to the ED. The exercise occurred in situ in the ED. Other participating departments conducted tabletop exercises and received live actor patients. Results: CURRICULUM Staff decanted the ED and other participating units using their current knowledge of hospital code orange policy. Live and virtual patients were triaged and managed according to severity of injuries. Live actor patients were assessed, intervened and transported to their designated unit. Virtual patients were managed through verbal discussion with the simulation controllers. An ED debrief took place using a plus/delta approach followed by a hospital-wide debrief. Conclusion: CONCLUSION An interprofessional hospital-wide MCI simulation revealed important challenges such as communication, command and control and patient-tracking . The exercise ignited enthusiasm and commitment to longitudinal practice and improvement for identified gaps.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
This paper presents latest thinking from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ Model Risk Working Party and follows on from their Phase I work, Model Risk: Daring to Open the Black Box. This is a more practical paper and presents the contributors’ experiences of model risk gained from a wide range of financial and non-financial organisations with suggestions for good practice and proven methods to reduce model risk. After a recap of the Phase I work, examples of model risk communication are given covering communication: to the Board; to the regulator; and to external stakeholders. We present a practical framework for model risk management and quantification with examples of the key actors, processes and cultural challenge. Lessons learned are then presented from other industries that make extensive use of models and include the weather forecasting, software and aerospace industries. Finally, a series of case studies in practical model risk management and mitigation are presented from the contributors’ own experiences covering primarily financial services.
A phased introduction of routine influenza vaccination of healthy children was recommended in the UK in 2012, with the aim of protecting both vaccinated children and the wider population through reducing transmission. In the first year of the programme in 2013–2014, 4- to 11-year-olds were targeted in pilot areas across England. This study assesses if this was associated with school absenteeism, an important societal burden of influenza. During the spring 2014 term when influenza predominantly circulated, the proportion of absence sessions due to illness was compared between vaccination pilot and non-pilot areas for primary schools (to measure overall impact) and secondary schools (to measure indirect impact). A linear multilevel regression model was applied, adjusting for clustering within schools and potential school-level confounders, including deprivation, past absenteeism, and ethnicity. Low levels of influenza activity were reported in the community in 2013–2014. Primary schools in pilot areas had a significantly adjusted decrease in illness absenteeism of 0·05% relative to non-pilot schools; equivalent to an average of 4 days per school. In secondary schools, there was no significant indirect impact of being located in a pilot area on illness absenteeism. These insights can be used in conjunction with routine healthcare surveillance data to evaluate the full benefits of such a programme.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Introduction: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in Nova Scotia. TBI occurs in approximately 50% of major trauma seen annually in the province. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and patterns of major TBI seen in Nova Scotia over a 12-year period. Methods: This was a retrospective case series. Data were obtained from the Nova Scotia Trauma Registry for all patients presenting with major TBI (abbreviated injury score [AIS] head ≥3) between 2002 and 2013. Injury rates were calculated on the basis of 100,000 population (all ages) using population estimates from Statistics Canada. Results: Overall, 4152 major TBI patients were seen in Nova Scotia hospitals during the study period. Mean age of TBI patients was 51±25 years; 73% were male. The majority of injuries were the result of blunt trauma (93%), with relatively few major TBIs resulting from penetrating trauma (7%). The most common mechanisms of injury were falls (44%) and motor vehicle crashes (27%). Analysis of census-based subpopulations of the province showed that injury rates varied significantly among counties (from 25 to 63 per 100,000 population). We observed an increase in the number of major TBI patients over twelve years. Conclusion: Our findings suggest significant regional variation in major TBI rates in Nova Scotia. There are ongoing needs for prevention and intervention efforts that focus on unintentional falls and motor vehicle crashes, especially in older adults. These results also suggest that geographically targeted efforts may be warranted.
Introduction: Although alcohol use increases the risk of experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI), it remains unclear whether outcomes in alcohol-impaired patients are different from those of unimpaired patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of alcohol on length of stay (LOS) and mortality in patients with major TBI. Methods: Using data collected from the Nova Scotia Trauma Registry, we performed a retrospective analysis of all patients with major TBI (defined as having an abbreviated injury score (AIS) head ≥3) seen in Nova Scotia hospitals between 2002 and 2013. Patients were compared by blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at time of injury: negative (0-1.9 mmol/L), low (2-21 mmol/L), and moderate/high (≥22 mmol/L). A logistic regression model was constructed to test for outcomes and adjusted for the effects of age, gender, location, injury severity score (ISS), and BAC level. Results: In a twelve-year period, there were 4152 major TBI patients in Nova Scotia. Alcohol testing was performed in 43% of cases (80% male, mean age 44±20 years), with 48% having a positive BAC. Mean acute LOS was similar for all three BAC groups. Increasing age (odds ratio [OR]=1.01; p<0.001), high ISS (OR=4.92; p<0.001), injuries occurring outside of Halifax Regional Municipality (OR=1.72; p<0.001), and having a lower BAC level (OR = 0.99; p<0.001) independently predicted mortality. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that low BAC levels are associated with increased mortality in major TBI patients. Further study is warranted to elucidate alcohol’s mechanism in TBI outcomes.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.
Although DSM-IV attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is known to be associated with numerous adverse outcomes, uncertainties exist about how much these associations are mediated temporally by secondary co-morbid disorders.
The US National Comorbidity Survey Replication Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A), a national survey of adolescents aged 13–17 years (n = 6483 adolescent–parent pairs), assessed DSM-IV disorders with the World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Statistical decomposition was used to compare direct effects of ADHD with indirect effects of ADHD through temporally secondary mental disorders (anxiety, mood, disruptive behavior, substance disorders) in predicting poor educational performance (suspension, repeating a grade, below-average grades), suicidality (ideation, plans, attempts) and parent perceptions of adolescent functioning (physical and mental health, interference with role functioning and distress due to emotional problems).
ADHD had significant gross associations with all outcomes. Direct effects of ADHD explained most (51.9–67.6%) of these associations with repeating a grade in school, perceived physical and mental health (only girls), interference with role functioning and distress, and significant components (34.5–44.6%) of the associations with school suspension and perceived mental health (only boys). Indirect effects of ADHD on educational outcomes were predominantly through disruptive behavior disorders (26.9–52.5%) whereas indirect effects on suicidality were predominantly through mood disorders (42.8–59.1%). Indirect effects on most other outcomes were through both mood (19.8–31.2%) and disruptive behavior (20.1–24.5%) disorders, with anxiety and substance disorders less consistently important. Most associations were comparable for girls and boys.
Interventions aimed at reducing the adverse effects of ADHD might profitably target prevention or treatment of temporally secondary co-morbid disorders.
Methods for estimating vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe influenza are not well established. We used the screening method to estimate VE against influenza resulting in intensive care unit (ICU) admission in England and Scotland in 2011/2012. We extracted data on confirmed influenza ICU cases from severe influenza surveillance systems, and obtained their 2011/2012 trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) status from primary care. We compared case vaccine uptake with population vaccine uptake obtained from routine monitoring systems, adjusting for age group, specific risk group, region and week. Of 60 influenza ICU cases reported, vaccination status was available for 56 (93%). Adjusted VE against ICU admission for those aged ⩾65 years was −10% [95% confidence interval (CI) −207 to 60], consistent with evidence of poor protection from the 2011/2012 TIV in 2011/2012. Adjusted VE for those aged <65 years in risk groups was −296% (95% CI −930 to −52), suggesting significant residual confounding using the screening method in those subject to selective vaccination.
The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is carrying out a survey as part of an international collaboration to image the northe, at a common resolution, in emission from all major constituents of the interstellar medium; the neutral atomic gas, the molecular gas, the ionised gas, dust and relativistic plasma. For many of these constituents the angular resolution of the images (1 arcmin) will be more than a factor of 10 better than any previous studies. The aim is to produce a publicly-available database of high resolution, high-dynamic range images of the Galaxy for multi-phase studies of the physical states and processes in the interstellar medium. We will sketch the main scientific motivations as well as describe some preliminary results from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey/Releve Canadien du Plan Galactique (CGPS/RCPG).
Multiple norovirus outbreaks following catered events in Auckland, New Zealand, in September 2010 were linked to the same catering company and investigated. Retrospective cohort studies were undertaken with attendees of two events: 38 (24·1%) of 158 surveyed attendees developed norovirus-compatible illness. Attendees were at increased risk of illness if they had consumed food that had received manual preparation following cooking or that had been prepared within 45 h following end of symptoms in a food handler with prior gastroenteritis. All food handlers were tested for norovirus. A recombinant norovirus GII.e/GII.4 was detected in specimens from event attendees and the convalescent food handler. All catering company staff were tested; no asymptomatic norovirus carriers were detected. This investigation improved the characterization of norovirus risk from post-symptomatic food handlers by narrowing the potential source of transmission to one individual. Food handlers with gastroenteritis should be excluded from the workplace for 45 h following resolution of symptoms.
A survey of the Milky Way disk and the Magellanic System at the wavelengths of the 21-cm atomic hydrogen (H i) line and three 18-cm lines of the OH molecule will be carried out with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The survey will study the distribution of H i emission and absorption with unprecedented angular and velocity resolution, as well as molecular line thermal emission, absorption, and maser lines. The area to be covered includes the Galactic plane (|b| < 10°) at all declinations south of δ = +40°, spanning longitudes 167° through 360°to 79° at b = 0°, plus the entire area of the Magellanic Stream and Clouds, a total of 13 020 deg2. The brightness temperature sensitivity will be very good, typically σT≃ 1 K at resolution 30 arcsec and 1 km s−1. The survey has a wide spectrum of scientific goals, from studies of galaxy evolution to star formation, with particular contributions to understanding stellar wind kinematics, the thermal phases of the interstellar medium, the interaction between gas in the disk and halo, and the dynamical and thermal states of gas at various positions along the Magellanic Stream.
There are limited data examining whether outcomes of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are worse when caused by community-associated (CA) strains compared to HA strains. We reviewed all patients’ charts at our institution from 1999 to 2009 that had MRSA first isolated only after 72 h of hospitalization (n = 724). Of these, 384 patients had a MRSA-HAI according to CDC criteria. Treatment failure was similar in those infected with a phenotypically CA-MRSA strain compared to a phenotypically HA-MRSA strain (23% vs. 15%, P = 0·10) as was 30-day mortality (16% vs. 19%, P = 0·57). Independent risk factors associated with (P < 0·05) treatment failure were higher Charlson Comorbidity Index, higher APACHE II score, and no anti-MRSA treatment. These factors were also associated with 30-day mortality, as were female gender, older age, MRSA bloodstream infection, MRSA pneumonia, and HIV. Our findings suggest that clinical and host factors, not MRSA strain type, predict treatment failure and death in hospitalized patients with MRSA-HAIs.
Several European countries have timely all-cause mortality monitoring. However, small changes in mortality may not give rise to signals at the national level. Pooling data across countries may overcome this, particularly if changes in mortality occur simultaneously. Additionally, pooling may increase the power of monitoring populations with small numbers of expected deaths, e.g. younger age groups or fertile women. Finally, pooled analyses may reveal patterns of diseases across Europe. We describe a pooled analysis of all-cause mortality across 16 European countries. Two approaches were explored. In the ‘summarized’ approach, data across countries were summarized and analysed as one overall country. In the ‘stratified’ approach, heterogeneities between countries were taken into account. Pooling using the ‘stratified’ approach was the most appropriate as it reflects variations in mortality. Excess mortality was observed in all winter seasons albeit slightly higher in 2008/09 than 2009/10 and 2010/11. In the 2008/09 season, excess mortality was mainly in elderly adults. In 2009/10, when pandemic influenza A(H1N1) dominated, excess mortality was mainly in children. The 2010/11 season reflected a similar pattern, although increased mortality in children came later. These patterns were less clear in analyses based on data from individual countries. We have demonstrated that with stratified pooling we can combine local mortality monitoring systems and enhance monitoring of mortality across Europe.